What if you launched a new product and nobody cared? While this scenario is highly unlikely, few manufacturers are without their own horror stories about a new product launch that failed to generate the expected buzz in the marketplace.
The problem may be partly due to a lack of communication between two parties with much to gain in a successful introduction -- the manufacturer
and the retailer.
Not to despair: The National Association of Chain Drug Stores and consulting firm Pricewaterhouse-Coopers say there are simple actions trading partners can take to improve their chances of launch success. They offer this four-step framework to improved
- Eliminate preconceived notions of each trading partner and establish a joint definition of launch success beyond sales/volume targets.
- Establish detailed milestones and success criteria, and assign specific responsibility and accountability for each element.
- Provide transparency to potential launch issues and develop contingency planning in advance for likely scenarios to avoid overreacting to expected events.
- Devote time to post-launch analysis to establish a common perception of the launch effectiveness.